University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) Special Research Collection

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Census/Demographics, History, Media Archive, Teaching Resources, United States on 2022-08-25 00:57Z by Steven

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) Special Research Collection

Library at University of California, Santa Barbara

G. Reginal Daniel, Professor of Sociology
University of California, Santa Barbara

G. Reginald Daniel, UCSB Professor of Sociology and member of the Advisory Board of MASC (Multiracial Americans of Southern California), and Paul Spickard, UCSB Professor of History, in coordination with Danelle Moon, Head of UCSB Library Special Research Collection, have been collecting primary documents from support and educational organizations involved in the multiracial movement, particularly from the late 1970s through the early 2000s. This period was the height of discussions surrounding changes in official data collection on race, as in the census, to make it possible for multiracial individuals to identify as such.


Beginning in the late 1970s and early 1980s, interracial families and multiracial adults became part of a multiracial movement that endeavored, among other concerns, to change official racial-data collection standards that required individuals to identify with only one racial background. Activists were unsuccessful in bringing about changes on the 1990 census. Yet their efforts intensified in the wake of the census. Consequently, by the 2000 census, for the first time, and largely through the activism of multiracial organizations, multiracial-identified individuals were allowed to self-enumerate by checking more than one racial box on the census.

On the 2000 census, multiracials (or the “more than more race” population) totaled 7 million or 2.4 percent of the population. Based on 2010 census data their numbers increased to 9 million people—or 2.9 percent of the population. Although multiracials still make up only a fraction of the total population, this is a growth rate of about 32 percent since 2000.


The West Coast, particularly California and Hawaii, has the highest concentration of interracial couples and the largest number and highest proportion of multiracial-identified individuals. California, in particular, has been a major center of multiracial activism, as well as academic research and university courses on multiracial identity. The University of California, specifically the Berkeley and Santa Barbara campuses, has the longest-standing university courses on this topic in the United States.

The UCSB Library Special Research Collection currently holds documents from iPride (Interracial/Intercultural Pride) and MASC, which, along with IMAGE, the Amerasian League, and Hapa Issues Forum, are among the local support and educational organizations founded in California. The Association of MultiEthnic Americans (AMEA), which was a national umbrella organization for numerous local groups, as well as A Place for Us National (APUN), which was another national organization, originated and maintained headquarters in California. Project RACE (Reclassify All Children Equality) is an additional national organization with headquarters in California although it was originally located in Roswell, George. That said, iPride and MASC are the two oldest organizations founded in California as well as two of the oldest organizations nationally. Moreover, they were two of the organizations most actively involved in deliberations surrounding the collection of official data on race.


The documents from iPride and MASC have been catalogued and are ready for public perusal by those interested in consulting primary documents on the multiracial movement. Currently, the items can only be viewed within the Special Research Collection reading room. Hopefully, the library will be able, at some point in the near future, to secure funding to make many, if not all, of the documents available online. A list of the library holdings can be found on the UCSB Library website ( under the heading “Archives and Manuscripts” by entering “Multiracial” in the “Search” box. That will take clients to the individual iPride and MASC collections. Clients can download a pdf that contains the specific holdings for each organization after clicking on the red- highlighted organization titles. Go to the upper righthand corner and click “View entire collection guide.” Subsequent documents donated by other organizations will be similarly catalogued.

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“Founding Mothers:” White Mothers of Biracial Children in the Multiracial Movement (1979-2000)

Posted in Census/Demographics, Dissertations, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Women on 2013-03-28 13:30Z by Steven

“Founding Mothers:” White Mothers of Biracial Children in the Multiracial Movement (1979-2000)

Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut
April 2012
142 pages

Alicia Doo Castagno

A thesis submitted to the faculty of Wesleyan University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Bachelor of Arts with Departmental Honors in American Studies


  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction: Interrogating Multiracial Advocacy
    • The Multiracial Movement
    • Methodology
    • Chapter Outline
  • Chapter 1: The Multiracial Movement
    • Pre-History of the Multiracial Movement
    • First Steps Towards a Movement: Interracial Family Organizations
    • AMEA, Project RACE, and Multiracial Activism
    • Census 2000
    • Post-Census 2000
  • Chapter 2: Founding Mothers – A Study in White Privilege
    • Altered Perspectives, Shifting Identities
    • Race and Family: Locating Interracial Relationships
    • White Racial Identity Development
    • White Racial Identity and Interracial Family Organizations
    • Flesh and Blood: Complicating Sentimental Politics
  • Chapter 3: Whiteness and Privilege in the Multiracial Movement – Project RACE as Case Study
    • Complicating the Multiracial Politics of Recognition
    • Project RACE
  • Conclusion: The Thwarted Utopian Potential of Multiracial Politics
  • Appendix I: Sample Interview Permission Form
  • Appendix II: Transcript of Telephone Interview with Mandy – I-Pride
  • Appendix III: Transcript of Interview with Mandy – I-Pride
  • Appendix IV: Transcript of Telephone Interview with Anonymous – I-Pride
  • Appendix V: Transcript of Telephone Interview with Susan Graham – Project RACE (part I)
  • Appendix VI: Transcript of Telephone Interview with Susan Graham – Project RACE (part II)
  • Appendix VII: Helms’s White Racial Identity Development Model
  • Bibliography


In early November 2010, I interrupted my junior semester abroad in Lima, Peru, to attend the Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference hosted by DePaul University in Chicago. I had been asked to participate in a roundtable discussion regarding the student forum I co-created and co-taught the fall semester of my sophomore year at Wesleyan University entitled, “Mixed Heritage Identity in Contemporary America.” After speaking only Spanish for three months, I found myself clumsy and thick-tongued in English as I attempted to describe my experience as a student facilitator and my involvement with mixed race activism. Later in the day, DePaul featured another roundtable entitled, “Community-Based Multiracial Movements: Learning from the Past, Looking toward the Future.” Representatives from multiracial organizations MAVIN; Swirl, Inc.; Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival; Multiracial Americans of Southern California (MASC);; and Biracial Family Network (BFN) Chicago led the discussion. I have been involved with mixed heritage politics since the age of fifteen, when I was an intern at Seattle’s MAVIN Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that deals specifically with mixed heritage issues. I was already aware of the history of the Multiracial Movement and some of its internal tensions. It was not until I attended the DePaul roundtable, however, that I began to question some of the movement’s more unusual historical characteristics…

…Chapter Outline

In Chapter 1, “The Multiracial Movement,” I chronicle the history of the Multiracial Movement from 1979-2000, focusing specifically on the role of interracial family organizations within the movement. I reveal the tensions between different players within the movement, such as AMEA and Project RACE, as well as the tension between multiracial activists and monoracial civil rights groups. I briefly outline the pre-Multiracial Movement socio-political history that set the foundations for Census 2000 and formal multiracial recognition to become the movement’s cornerstones. I argue that focusing on multiracial politics of recognition limited the movement’s potential for radical change.

Chapter 2 is entitled, “Founding Mothers: A Study in White Privilege,” and tracks the various ways in which being part of an interracial relationship or family altered the way white women in the 1970s-90s perceived themselves and the world. I situate white women’s political involvement in a historical context that favors monoracial families and emphasizes racial belonging as an important aspect of healthy childrearing. Moreover, I link white mothers’ campaigning for multiracials to separate spheres ideology and sentimental politics. I assert that the coping mechanisms white mothers of biracial children employed to deal with being an interracially married white woman in the 1970s-90s ultimately resulted in the formation of interracial family groups and participation in multiracial politics that unwittingly attempted to regain racially privileged experiences and status.

In Chapter 3, entitled “Whiteness And Privilege In The Multiracial Movement—Project RACE as Case Study,” I examine the ways in which white female involvement led to the movement’s focus on multiracial politics of recognition, and the ways in which these politics of recognition ultimately limited the movement’s potential. I connect the arguments I have laid out in my first two chapters through the example of Project RACE, and elaborate on the history of the Multiracial Movement discussed in Chapter 1. Susan Graham did groundbreaking political work as the head of Project RACE, and facilitated the entry of multiracial politics into the OMB’s discussion of changing racial categories for Census 2000. However, her politics remained grounded in a perspective of white privilege. The political alliances she made and her unwillingness to sympathize with monoracial civil rights groups’ concerns lost her the support both of monoracial people of color and multiracial activists…

Read the entire thesis here.

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Census serves up racial buffet in Silicon Valley

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2011-03-21 19:19Z by Steven

Census serves up racial buffet in Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley Mercury News

Joe Rodriguez

Who are you? What are you?

Sara Phillips, a 20-year-old computer science student from Hawaii at Santa Clara University, just may have the new look of the 21st century. When her 2010 Census form arrived last year, she gazed at the variety of ethnic and racial boxes available to her and selected four: Spanish and Filipino, same as her mother; and Japanese and white from her father’s lineage.

“I always mark as many as I can,” she said.

Choosing from this racial buffet made her one of about 87,300 people living in Santa Clara County who claimed more than one race, according to the latest results released by the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s an increase of about 9,000 from the past decade…

…Advocates, including the Berkeley-based Association of Multi Ethnic Americans, started lobbying for the distinction in the late 1960s, arguing in part that the blending of races eventually would transcend racial divisions. Curiously, some odd bedfellows opposed them.

On one side, cultural conservatives said another racial category would Balkanize America and stifle the dream of a colorblind society. On the other, traditional black, Asian and Native American groups feared the new category would dilute their numbers and political clout.

For better or worse, the mixed-race genie is out of the bottle, said professor Matthew Snipp, a sociologist who heads the Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity at Stanford University.

“It’s going to continue to grow, and how fast is anybody’s guess,” he said. At the same time, “It’s still a relatively small part of the population.”

Although he has some Irish blood, Snipp is Native American and marked only that box on his own census form. He said the key issues in the mixed-race question still are alive and meaty.

For example, he said, federal anti-discrimination laws name and protect traditional minority groups, but not multiracial people. The Census Bureau is the only agency that collects such information. When a federal health agency wants to know which racial populations need attention and where, Census Bureau computers assign mixed-race people to one of the traditional racial groups and hands the recoded counts to the agencies.

“The bigger issue is that we still have laws in place to combat discrimination that still exists,” he said…

Read the entire article here.

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